210 - Transmutate
Been a busy week, sorry about the hiatus. But here we go, 4 episodes to go to the end of the season.
Inside his quarters, Megatron is lounging on his chair, sleeping, with some sort of IV drip. Rampage enters, and tries to steal the box containing his spark fragment, which is on a nearby table. Of course, with all the stealth you'd expect from the largest Transformer seen on the show yet, he fails, and Megatron takes the box to remind Rampage of his place.
Two odd things: Megatron snores, and Rampage looks way smaller than usual in this scene.
Meanwhile Silverbolt, Cheetor and Rattrap are in some desert place, and feel some earthquake. Rattrap worries as he is prone to do. We learn Megatron's got a jamming tower in the area.
At the Darksyde, Megatron detects the Maximals and sends Blender Butt and Rampage out to stop them from destroying the tower. The Maximals split up to find the tower.
At the Axalon, the ship gives readings of Volcanic activities where the team is. But the jamming tower makes calling them impossible. Optimus heads out, unwilling to risk losing anymore friends (Echoing last episode and Other Visits
The ground opens beneath Rattrap, but Cheetor rescues him, however some purple energy zaps Cheetor, causing both Transmetals to crash. Erupting from the ground is a Stasis Pod. Megatron detects it, and sends Inferno to it, to Rampage's curiosity. Inferno lands by the pod, but when he touches it, it zaps him. The pod's computer starts listing malfunctions as the pod shakes. Silverbolt, who spotted Inferno earlier, arrives and pounces Blender Butt, smashing him in a cliff.
Rampage reaches the pod when he's away, and spotting the obvious malfunctions, immediately realizes this protoform is unique, and he feels a kinship to it, another freak like him. Silverbolt lands, telling him to step away, however their confrontation is cut short when the pod explodes, revealing a misshapen Robot with a severely damaged mind. The blast knocked Silverbolt off the cliff, but X is heavier and remains.
He approaches the protoform, and immediately presents himself as her friend. But the Maximal Trio arrives, shocked by what they see. X tries to convince the creature to join with him and that the Maximals are its enemies. But Silverbolt does the same, saying X lies. However Blender Butt attacks, and the creature unleashes a sonic attack that knocks all but X in stasis lock. X, vows to protect her, calling her his friend. The Maximals recover as Optimus arrives.
Rampage studies the creature, noting she is partially transmetal, but mutant in form, dubbing her Transmutate. Blender Butt arrives, saying Transmutate is Megatron's prize, and the two argue only to be interrupted by one of Megatron's holographic heads from Before the Storm
. Megatron studies the creature, and orders her to transform. But she can't. Even when Rampage begs her to. Megatron orders her destroyed since she is useless, but Rampage intercedes, and Megatron agrees to let her prove her use by destroying the invading Maximals.
Optimus gets filled in, and he orders the Transmetal back to base to fill Rhinox in (why both?). Him and Silverbolt will find the Predacons. They find an apparantly injured Transmutate, but she's the bait for an ambush. The predacons shoot Silverbolt till he collapses, to Trsnsmutate's shock. Blender Butt orders her to finish him, but when she hesitates, she shoves her aside, angering her and she blasts him, leaving her with Rampage. But Primal arrives and dispatches the Predacon. He convinces Transmutate they can help Silverbolt before she attacks him, and the Mutant takes her wounded Fuzor friend, unveiling a flight mode and taking off with Optimus to the Axalon as X recovers.
In the base, Rhinox gives the results of a scan of Transmutate: It's logic circuits are barely that of a drone, it's body is scrambled beyond repair and it has too much power, its a walking time bomb. He suggests putting her into stasis lock. Silverbolt flips out that Maximals would so callously disregard or mistreat something different,
but Rhinox explains that this way she'll be safe and they can transfer her into a blank protoform where she can live a normal life without risking to blow herself up or having the IQ of a doorknob
does nothing but lets him vent at him and Primal. Transmutate slinkers off, feeling dejected. She hears X's voice, who has followed and found a way to communicate with her. He tells her to join him, and she breaks out of the Axalon to rejoin her dark friend. In the bridge, the Maximals realize what is going on, and Silverbolt goes to find her, after insulting the rest of the crew, coz ya know, they had a plan to help her or something and he's kind of a dick this episode.
Transmutate rejoins X, but Silverbolt soon arrives. The two transformers soon fight, and as they fire to each other, Transmutate lands between them, using her powers to slow the missiles they fired, hoping to keep her friends from harming one another. She looks at her "good friend" and her "dark friend", before the missiles and her own powers overwhelm her, blowing her to pieces. She dies soon after.
Alast Poor Transmutate, I knew her, Silverbolt!
"Friend… good. Friend… dark. I… am… hurt."
The other Maximals arrive as Rampage cradles Transmutate's head, and Silverbolt tells them to leave him alone. For today, they are brothers over the shared loss.
This isn't a bad episode on its own. My only two criticism of the episode proper are that Silverbolt's tantrum was unneeded (Especially when the Maximals are proven right and Transmutate's powers DID kill her), and that Transmutate's face has a bad Uncanny Valley
thing going. Seriously, it creeps me out. I don't know if it was the goal, I mean, the show clearly wants us to care about her... But she's so creepy! And the camera keeps making closeups of that face!
My main issue with the episode is that it's filler. It's the only time Rampage is given any kind of positive trait. He's protective of Transmutate and outright cares for her. When she dies, he's heartbroken. Yet future episodes go right back in depicting him as a Complete Monster
and some sort of Robotic version of Hannibal Lecter and the Joker. Him and Silverbolt BARELY interact in the future, and the events of this episode are never brought up again. It's sad, because this could have led to so much good moments. We learn that Rampage considers his own existence torturous. Does nothing come of it? No (Unless you subscribe to a specific interpretation of a 2 second long scene in season 3). The wasted potential annoys me. Otherwise, it's mostly a fine episode.
- Copied from the TF Wiki: When new, this episode was at the center of an April Fool's joke gone horribly, horribly wrong. A copy of the script was altered by persons unknown at Mainframe Entertainment to include some rather lurid scenes, such as Rattrap mounting Transmutate. Regardless of whomever the victim of the joke was intended to be, the altered script found its way onto alt.toys.transformers, to the horrified chagrin of the fandom. As if that weren't bad enough, the script was leaked before the episode actually aired in the United States, leaving the fandom debating whether the entire story, and the naughty bits in particular, were actually legitimate.
- This is the only episode so far where Waspinator doesn't appear. This breaks his streak of being the last of the original ten characters to appear in every episode without interruption.
- Rattrap refers to Arcee as his Great-Aunt. Susan Blu, who voiced Arcee in the original Cartoon, is the voice director for Beast Wars. She also voices Transmutate this episode.
Wow. That is a trolling gone near-horribly wrong right there. Glad that it eventually got sorted out.
I think the script mentions her spark was unstable, which could explain why they don't transfer her to a new body. She probably couldn't survive the transplant, at least with the field medic level technology they have (maybe back on Cybertron, but that's a long ways away).